Archive for September, 2010


Event: Toronto Launch

September 30, 2010

I’ll be launching Glimpse in Toronto on Oct 20 as part of a short four-city tour that will also include Waterloo, Montreal, and Ottawa. Toronto is my home town, and while I love St. John’s and feel it has become something of a spiritual home for me that I never want to leave, I love visiting Toronto and seeing old friends and reminiscing. Come help me do that at the Dora Keogh in October!

What: George Murray launches Glimpse (ECW, 2010)
When: October 20, 7pm
Where: Dora Keogh Pub, 141 Danforth Ave (map)

Ben McNally’s people will be on hand to sell books, and we’ll have a rollicking good time. I hope you can join me and the good people of ECW for the evening. Here’s a Facebook event page, for those of you so inclined to “attend”.


Contest! Write your own aphorism!

September 27, 2010

The National Post is offering up a challenge: write your own aphorism, a-la Glimpse, and enter for a chance to receive one of three signed copies of Glimpse!

“The slot machine is the idiot’s ATM.”

“Every crowd is a mass grave that death never visited.”

“The cat that dies is simply the cat that lost count.”

These words of wisdom are all pulled from Glimpse, the poet George Murray’s new collection of aphorisms.

We introduced you to author and book over the weekend and now we want you to come up with your own aphorisms.

E-mail your best aphorisms — a maximum of three, please — to We’ll select the finalists, while George Murray will pick the winners, three of whom will receive a signed copy of Glimpse.

The deadline is Friday, October 1 at 6 PM EST, and remember: “Those who do not enter cannot win.”


News: Glimpse a “Bestseller”

September 27, 2010

Glimpse has made, oddly enough, the paperback fiction bestseller list in Winnipeg. It’s only the sales from McNally Robinson in Winnipeg that count toward this, but it’s still nice to see a poetry title duking it out with the fiction!


Profile: The National Post

September 26, 2010

The National Post ran a full page in their arts section this weekend on Glimpse and me. There was a brief profile and interview, a nice big picture and a set of exerpts from the book. Very nice! Thanks, National Post.

Photo by Paul Daly/National Post

Each day, thousands of people visit Bookninja to read George Murray’s razor-sharp musings on the publishing world. It is as a poet, however, that he first made his name. The author of four previous books, Murray recently published Glimpse, a collection of 409 aphorisms. Described as “a crystallized poetic essence,” aphorisms, though short, can be as deep as the ocean. To wit: “The only reliable form of time travel is living.” The book even has its own iPhone application, for those who like their philosophy on the go. Mark Medley recently spoke to Murray from his home in St. John’s. Herewith, their conversation, condensed and edited.


Events: Winnipeg’s THIN AIR

September 19, 2010

I’ll be in Winnipeg as of Wednesday afternoon for events on Thursday and Friday at the THIN AIR authors festival—a classroom visit at Red River College, a U of W discussion panel, and the Mainstage “Poetry Bash” event. If you’re in town, I hope you can make it!

Mainstage info:

Friday, September 24, 8:00 pm


Poets invent new paths through our language—and new languages for our paths…

kevin mcpherson eckhoff, Ariel Gordon, Nora Gould, Ignatius Mabasa, George Murray, Sina Queyras

The mainstage venue is the CanWest Global Performing Arts Centre (MTYP) located at The Forks

Tickets are $12/$10 for students and seniors; at the door

Rush seating, doors open at 7:30pm tickets

McNally Robinson Booksellers will be onsite to sell books.

U of W Panel Discussion information:

Friday, September 24, 2:30 – 4:00 pm

Convocation Hall, Wesley Hall; University of Winnipeg

PANEL: On the page, in the ether…

George Murray and Sina Queyras, with host Heather Milne

George Murray and Sina Queyras are accomplished poets who also have strong online presences as the forces behind and respectively. How are writers talking to one another these days? How are they connecting with communities of readers?

Open to everyone; Admission is Free.


Article: Edmonton Journal

September 17, 2010

Here’s a great piece by the Edmonton Journal’s books editor Richard Helm on Glimpse. It’s a really nice combination of profile, review and interview. Hope you like it!

Glimpse is a catalogue of 409 aphorisms Murray has culled from his journals and poetry over the years. Why 409? Murray says he shares with the Beach Boys a particular affection for that number. But why aphorisms rather than regular verse?

In a phone interview this week, Murray traced the book’s origins to a reading he did at Princeton a few years back and subsequent conversation with the American poet James Richardson, who has played with the form himself. Richardson told Murray many of the closing couplets from the sonnets of his last collection, The Rush to Here, would work as aphorisms if removed whole from their host poems.

Murray started collecting them, a bid idly, while working on another book of poetry. Then last summer, at a reading in Dublin, the famed Irish poet Paul Durcan insisted he put the poesy aside and publish the aphorisms. That was good enough for Murray.

“Everybody, not just poets, has these little moments of epiphany where you have a bit of a deeper understanding of the universe,” Murray said.

“It’s a fleeting thing, kind of like grabbing onto smoke: You can’t quite do it. But poets are trained to try to grab that and shape it into something. A poet spends a lot of time laying down artifice upon this moment of epiphany and trying to make it beautiful and trying to make it have multiple layers of meaning.

“These aphorisms try to go straight for the moment of epiphany with the fewest words possible.


Interview: CBC’s On the Go

September 12, 2010

Here’s the audio of an interview with me from On the Go, the drive-home show from CBC in my home town of St. John’s, NL.

George Murray interviewed about Glimpse by CBC


Interview: Salty Ink

September 10, 2010

Atlantic books blog Salty Ink likes Glimpse and has a brief interview with me up today. I hope you like it!

What is it about the aphorism you are drawn to?

I’m drawn to the essential and crystalline. I’m drawn to their nearness to the moment of epiphany. I’m drawn to their relative lack of artifice (at least as compared to the lyric poem). Some of them can stand alone, while others build on one another. As a book-length entity, they loan and borrow energy, to and from one another. They can be read individually or as a unit. And with most of them, people can walk away with, if not an immediate fix then, something relatively accessible to chew on.


Interview: Telegraph Journal

September 8, 2010

Mainland Atlantic paper, the Telegraph Journal, includes me and Glimpse in their fall books preview. An interview turned into a profile appears here.

His latest collection, Glimpse: Selected Aphorisms, is thinly disguised as a poetry book. The catalogue of 409 aphorisms come with their own iPhone application, aptly coined iPhorisms. Readers can Tweet, Blog, Facebook or Tumble his succinct thoughts.

“With the aphorism I am trying to get closer to the moment of epiphany by eschewing the artifice of the constructed, crafted poem,” he says. “Now, practically speaking, the aphorisms are also crafted. I’m hoping their accessibility and economy, using the fewest words possible convincingly convey the gist of the epiphany allows the reader closer to the original moment by not putting any barriers to understanding in the way.”